Narendra Modi calls up Hamid Karzai, hails his contribution

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday spoke to former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and hailed his effort to strengthen bilateral relations besides successfully steering his country on the path of peace, prosperity and stability which will "never be forgotten".

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 18, 2014, 20:37 PM IST

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday spoke to former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and hailed his effort to strengthen bilateral relations besides successfully steering his country on the path of peace, prosperity and stability which will "never be forgotten".

Modi told Karzai that he will always remain a "special friend" for India which was like a second home to him and invited him to

undertake an early visit. Karzai said he looks forward to visiting India soon.

During the telephone call more than a month after Karzai demitted office which he held for nearly 13 years, Modi congratulated

him for his leadership in ensuring a historic and peaceful political transition and formation of a National Unity Government in

Afghanistan, a PMO statement said.

This, the Prime Minister said, would not have been possible without the wisdom, courage and foresight of Karzai.

Modi warmly recalled Karzai's contribution to strengthening of bilateral relations and said both India and Afghanistan had new

governments in place which look to Karzai as a mentor for guidance in furtherance of the ties.

Modi noted that under Karzai, Afghanistan had achieved huge progress in its quest to build a strong, peaceful, inclusive,

prosperous and democratic Afghanistan, it said.

Karzai took over the leadership of Afghanistan in December 2001 after the fanatic Taliban regime was removed.

"The way President Karzai had successfully steered Afghanistan on the path of peace, prosperity and stability during a very

difficult period, would never be forgotten," the Prime Minister told him.

Karzai said he deeply cherishes his long association with India and observed that "no other country in the world had done as

much for Afghanistan as India had despite constraints of resources."

He was confident that the new government in Afghanistan will continue to attach the highest priority to strengthening of

India-Afghanistan relations.

Modi has already spoken to President Asraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah.